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STEPHEN P. PLATT v. BOARD OF APPEALS, MARYLAND DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, LICENSING, AND REGULATION

Appellant Stephen Platt is a deaf man who was fired from his job for allegedly signing obscenities in American Sign Language (ASL). Platt sought unemployment compensation, but was denied benefits by a Claims Specialist because he had engaged in gross misconduct. He appealed this decision to Appellee Board of Appeals (the Board) of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR). A Hearing Examiner conducted a hearing in which Platt was provided an interpreter who “transliterated” for Platt. At no time during this hearing did Platt complain about the quality of the interpreter services; nor did he ask for a different interpreter. When the Board denied his appeal of the Hearing Examiner’s decision, Platt sought judicial review in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, which upheld the Board’s decision. Platt now appeals this ruling, arguing that the Board violated Maryland regulations (COMAR), the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and international human rights treaties, because he was not provided a certified ASL translator at the proceeding before the Hearing Examiner.

Read the unreported opinion.